Smith Hall, Kent, Ohio 44242, United States of America

Kent State University - Department of Physics Graduate Program

Smith Hall, Kent, Ohio 44242, United States of America


The Physics Department at Kent State University conducts internationally recognized research in diverse areas of physics. We also have a strong track record of employment after graduation.

Free application week January 14 - January 24!
Domestic graduate applicants for Fall 2022 admission can submit the online application portion during this period to take advantage of the automatic fee waiver.  You can return to your application portal at a later time to submit supporting documentation (e.g., goal statement, letters of recommendation, transcripts).

As a medium-sized department, we offer an excellent balance of a diverse set of research topics and research advisors while benefiting from a great deal of individualized attention and daily interaction with experienced scientists. Research in our department is built around biological physics theory and experiment, nuclear experiment and theory, theoretical and experimental solid state physics, the physics of soft matter physics and liquid crystals, and nuclear astrophysics. Because the typical size of a research group is relatively small, students can expect a high degree of personal attention and mentoring in research. Our PhD students receive competitive stipends and full tuition waivers which allow them to enjoy a good lifestyle in Northeast Ohio for which the cost of living is very reasonable.

Kent State University is located in Kent, Ohio, a small town (pop. 28,000) located on the banks of the Cuyahoga River. Kent is a family community with an excellent school system, tree-lined streets and a historic downtown with plenty of restaurants, shops, a cinema and all the other amenities and services you’ll need. Kent State is just a short drive from the major metropolitan areas of Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown and Canton. These cities and their surrounding areas are home to more than three million people who enjoy world-class museums, theatres, national and state parks, shopping, professional sports and Fortune 500 companies. Kent is easily accessible from the Ohio and Pennsylvania turnpikes, major highways and the Cleveland Hopkins International and Akron-Canton airports.

Program Requirements

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Physics is a highly flexible program consisting of 32 hours of graduate coursework that can be customized according to the academic background and needs of the individual student.

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Physics consists of 32 hours of graduate coursework and a research project taking one or two semesters. The research project should result in a written report. Students may choose to complete a thesis which is to be defended orally.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Physics provides training of professionals to conduct independently conceived programs of research or teaching in universities or research laboratories. Original research is required in fundamental or applied areas of physics, and the Ph.D. dissertation must be orally defended. Two years of graduate coursework, plus four years of research are typical. The required physics courses will prepare the student for the candidacy examination. Students present at least one seminar based on their dissertation research during their graduate career.
GRE Requirements: Recommended
Physics GRE Requirements: Recommended
TOEFL Requirements: Required

Description of your department culture

Our departmental culture is one of openness and camaraderie. We offer a supportive environment for you to gain experience conducting world-class physics research. We are a diverse group, with a far larger proportion of women faculty than the national average. As a medium-sized department, with a faculty of approximately 30 professors, we offer an excellent balance: You may choose from a diverse set of research topics and research advisors while benefiting from a great deal of individualized attention and daily interaction with experienced scientists. Your everyday work environment could vary from on-site labs where you conduct experiments in which a few people design experiments, take measurements, and analyze data, to detector facilities at national labs where the effort is highly specialized and coordinated among many institutions.

We have an annual Fall picnic, end of semester winter party, weekly colloquium, and regular Nuclear Physics Seminars. Graduate students can participate in a number of clubs and professional groups: the Physics Grad Student Association (PhGSA), a club aimed to enhance the scientific and social environment of all physics graduate students; a local chapter of Scientista, a national foundation focused on promoting women in science and engineering; the Optical Society of America (OSA); and the international society for optics and Photonics (SPIE). In the past, PhGSA has organized Sunday study sessions, potlucks, journal clubs, workshops, graduate research seminars, and short presentations from professors about research in the department. Science outreach opportunities include judging in local science fairs as well as serving as scientific mentors to high school and middle school participants.